The “social protection” measure for artists reveals “legal and fiscal imbalances”

The controversy in the artistic community accompanies the social protection measure for groups that work in the field of performing arts, after the application of the law relative to the basic system of obligatory health insurance and the law on the creation of a system of pensions for categories of professionals, independent workers and unpaid people who dedicate themselves to a private activity.

And in the Official Gazette, last March, a regulatory decree was issued for the two laws, which stated in its seventh article that the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication is the “communication body in charge of providing the Caja Nacional Social Security the available information. to it” related to the category of autonomous artists.

In this context, Masoud Bouhcine, president of the Moroccan Union of Dramatic Arts Professionals, said: “This procedure is important, essential and indisputable for the category to which it refers, that is, the free professions, and it is positive for them. ; But it does not apply to entertainment professionals, and it becomes a hindrance rather than a help to them, and exempts the operator from any obligation towards the operators, and is exempt from regulating the balance between the contractor and the artist, even if the latter is occupied by a contract of limited duration, which means that there is an operational dependency.

In his turn, Amin Nassour, president of the Association of Graduates of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Art and Cultural Revitalization, recorded that there was a “confusion”; They consider artists, especially actors, directors and performers as autonomous, that is, independent, which is not true; These categories work by contract, so what applies to salaried employees, with specific contracts, with the exception of the category of authors, but the performer or performer and the director are salaried and cannot be treated as independent” .

It should be noted that the artistic guilds had previously presented a statement of reasons warning that considering the legal text inclusive of “all categories of artists, including employees in the framework of employment contracts”, “would perpetuate an incorrect and unconstitutional situation, represented in the forced inclusion of all salaried artists within the framework of this decree, especially those who already find themselves in an unhealthy and unfair fiscal situation represented by their urgent recourse, for what interests operators, to the unified professional contribution or the system self-contracting”.

Speaking to Hespress, director Amin Nassour said that he had “indirectly imposed on all actors and performers who work with production companies to prepare the self-contractor card, send their number to the production company and pay the tax on the amounts that were collected. ” It is an issue in which there is confusion, we are facing a working class in relation to hiring, and we are not facing two equal groups”.

Nassour continued: “After this was imposed, now there is a problem in fulfilling the duty of social security. Because the character of self-contractor does not distinguish between the artist and the others, and imposes a percentage that you make each month according to the nature of your activity and your income, but at the same time it is imposed from the artist’s card, as social protection collected the information of all the artists through the card, entered them into the system and now requires them to pay monthly fees.

Here, Nassour recorded that artists “have found themselves doing social protection twice, as a self-contractor and then as an artist, and this is an incorrect situation. We are with the social protection workshops convened by His Majesty the King, which we value and consider as a great revolution in the protection of Moroccans as a whole; But it is also necessary to scrutinize and take into account certain categories of professionals and workers, and to consider their privacy and the privacy of their work; Because we work in a field where there is work intermittent, and there are a number of risks and peculiarities that must be taken into account”.

For his part, trade unionist Massoud Bouhcine affirmed that, with the exception of authors, “the large base of actors, technicians and performers do not work on their own, but rather as employees with fixed-term contracts, and there is a dependent occupation. .”

This occurs at a time when “article 60 of the General Tax Code says that artists are salaried workers”, so “the deduction is from the original. The artist’s law says that the deduction of the original even for social protection, then with the “self-contractor” we find a group of professions that do not apply this capacity, which means an error in the tax and legal regime for legal status. of the artist

Bouhssain added that, in fact, among those behind this confusion are “the production lobbies who do not want to deduct from the original, knowing that most of the money comes from the State, in the absence of a basis to calculate the cost; However, with this novelty, he exposed a silent system, based on the fact that the control of the artists is in the interest of the producer. ”

Thus, “although the decree is related to independent artists, the Ministry of Culture has delivered the list of holders of the artist card, a list that does not distinguish between professional status, and the artist has become as if he had a shop, as if he is practicing free labor, while the large base of those who live from art do not work alone (…) In light of what was said above, the law turns on one side and the interest of the people on the other, in light of the benefit of a group of producers, and there will be injustice and injustice towards the artists”, according to the expression of the unionist Bouhassine, who called for “legally correcting the matter; We as a union want social protection for artists, which artists do with their work; But with the legal nature that the law establishes, not giving his work a quality that it does not have.”